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Kids can Twin too you know

The River Clan that runs through St Benoit and where the water activities will take place
Cookham Twinning and the Cookham Youth Project have got together to send a mixed group of eight young people to St Benoit, Cookham's twin village in France.

The trip will take place during the Easter holidays. They will be competing with the French in kayaking for about four miles along the river there. They will also be undertaking a four mile orienteering course on land. In addition there will be an archery contest and also absailing sixty metres from a bridge.

As the members of the party have very little experience in these sports, there is frantic rush to train in archery skills, swimming and water sports. We think that this is a clever strategy of the French to win, after our victory last year when the Cookham Dean Football Club under 16's beat them so decisively.

Katherine Steel, Cookham Youth Project - Youth Leader, who will lead the group to St Benoit.
The eight young people will be accompanied by four adults who all are youth workers for the Cookham Youth Project.

They will be led by Katherine Steel, who is the new Youth Leader and only joined the Project in January this year. Katherine is already an expert in canoeing and kayaking. They will be travelling by minibus and crossing from Dover to Calais by boat. This is the first time that some of the young people have been abroad.

In St Benoit, the group will be staying in a sports hostel which is used for training sports teachers.

On the first day the contests will take place. We have been told that we will not be able to practise beforehand. A clever French ploy we think. There are two rivers that run through St Benoit and this is where the water sports will take place. A special dinner is being arranged for everyone on the Saturday night.

The Futuroscope. The visitors will be spending a day going around this amazing Park of the Moving Image.
The visit will also consist of a visit to the Futuroscope, which is very close to the village of St Benoit. This is the amazing Park of the Moving Image. There are 70 foot Imax screens, 3-D films that make you want to reach out to touch everything. Le Tapis Magie (Magic Carpet) which is about the migration of the Monarch butterfly from Mexico to the United States. The film is actually under your feet and all around you, so you feel that you are actually the Monarch butterfly. It is the only film ever made using this technique, as the cost was so high. There are also films of the Cresta run and the mines from Indiana Jones, where the seats move in syncronisation with the film. There is even one where you are a ball on a pinball machine.

The Park is set in beautiful gardens and each of the entertainments are set in incredibly designed buildings. One is even in the shape of a piece of graphite. At the end of the day there is a laser light show, which is projected over the water. White horses leap out from the pools and babies walk across the water. Coloured balls bounce around the air, while the fountains change colour in time to the music. An experience not to be missed.

To organise the trip an enormous amount of work has taken place. Passports, medical certificates, insurances (three sorts), swimming certificates, consent forms, Emergency Medical Treatment forms have all had to be organised, not to mention getting hold of a minibus, booking the boat, drawing up kit lists and getting everyone trained up for the contests.

This has been spearheaded by Katherine Steel, but she has had support and advice from the Borough Council Youth and Community department, the British Canoeing Association, Andrew Sutherland from Cookham Scouts, who also have offered to lend us compasses, Pinkneys Green Youth Club, Castle Hill and Longbridge Scout Camp. We have also had generous donations from Cookham Twinning, the King's Hall Trust and Val Rice, who raised money at a concert she gave at the Pinder Hall. A good time should be had by all.

Bonne chance

If you wish to learn more about Twinning in Cookham please click here to visit the Cookham Twinning website!

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